Diversity Assessment Tool (DAT) App
Increasing accessibility to diversity data for positive change
Updated March 31, 2023
A wealth of research over the last decade demonstrates that diversity in and inclusion in the workplace is associated with organizational performance. It helps ensure organizations attract the best and the brightest and that they are equipped to serve diverse markets. It is associated with employee engagement and innovation. And it helps organizations mitigate risk.
How We Are Solving It
In support of a more diverse and inclusive innovation ecosystem, Simon Fraser University’s VentureLabs is partnering with Toronto Metropolitan University’s (TMU) Diversity Institute and others on the Diversity Assessment Tool (DAT) Application for Inclusive Innovation project.
The DAT application will be the first digital tool to dynamically assess the diversity and inclusion policies and practices of organizations and to help develop strategies. This accessible and easy-to-use application will also share customized knowledge, tools, and resources with organizations to help them implement their strategies. It will address six critical areas – leadership and governance, human resources practices, culture, metrics, the value chain, and partnerships. The one-year project is set to transform diversity and inclusion assessments from an expensive, resource-intensive activity typically reserved for large enterprises to an evidence-based, affordable, easy-to-use, and self-guided online process.
The methodology underlying the DAT application will be based on the diversity assessment tool developed by faculty in Toronto Metropolitan University’s Diversity Institute. This methodology is backed by 20 years of research and has been adopted by many organizations to advance their diversity and inclusion strategies.
Once developed, the DAT app will be piloted with Supercluster Members and working with sectoral councils, chambers of commerce and other business organizations, will reach SMEs across the country. The DAT’s playbook, templates, and examples will help companies identify opportunities, take action, and create sustainable change.
The project team will include students who will develop, test and refine the DAT application and related processes. This will be a unique learning opportunity, in terms of developing digital skills and gaining a stronger understanding and appreciation of the value of diversity and inclusion. Lastly, the team will develop a commercialization strategy and international partnerships to ensure the DAT application is adopted widely and supported for years to come.
The DAT App project built on 20 years of D&I research and practice to support organizations in building diverse and inclusive workplaces and in attracting and retaining more diverse skilled talent. This project piloted the DAT app with 164 small businesses with the vision of the DAT App as an easy-to-use web application, including access to a playbook, online training, and a best practice tool kit that can be relevant to a wide range of organizations.
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